Show Report

Air Fete 2000

RAF Mildenhall

Show details
Date 27th/28th May 2000
Weather I attended on the Saturday which appears to have been the better of the two days. It was changeable with strong winds but for the most part there was clear air with some stunning cloud formations forming a backdrop.
Positive Points Good static display and an interesting flying program. How many other shows can boast a stream take off consisting of a B-52, a B-1 followed by a B-2. Magic!! The weather interrupted the flying on several occasions but the organisers coped very well, ensuring that none of the 'star' items were lost from the program. They even managed to get the B-2 displaying during the sunniest spell of the day.
Negative Points The only downside was the fiasco in the car parks, where car drivers had been directed to park ridiculously close, causing the first people to leave a lot of difficulty in getting out. I suspect many cars had several dents or scratches as a result. Fortunately, mine didn't!!
Highlights B-1B, B-2A, B-52H, Austrian Air Force J-35OE Draken
Other comment Well organised with usual friendly welcome, BBQs and Beer!! Great to have it back after being cancelled in 1999.

B-2A Spirit

To many, the 'star' of the show was the Northrop B-2A Spirit, pictured here landing after completing its display.

B-52H Stratofortress pic 1

To me, the 'star' was a real aeroplane, the B-52H.

B-52H Stratofortress pic 2

Few aircraft exhibit grace and power at the same time but a well executed B-52 display always does. It's been a while since a good demonstration of the B-52 in the UK, which is why I really appreciated this one.

B-1B Lancer

Another American 'star' the Rockwell B-1B Lancer which gave a very noisy and powerful display, concluding with a rocket climb in fighter like fashion after approaching the airfield at just under the speed of sound.

SAAB J-35OE Draken

A first for the UK airshow audience, a lively appearance by a Draken of the Austrian Air Force.

Patrouille Suisse

As ever the Patrouille Suisse performed a tidy display with their mounts, six Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs, comparing well with the full time teams from France, Italy and the UK.

Tornado F3

Mildenhall in its element. An RAF Tornado F3 of 56 Squadron blasts into the air leaving a steaming runway in its wake following a recent shower.

F-117A Nighthawk

The 'Stealth Fighter' is now more common at the bigger shows and is flown more vigorously than when it first appeared.